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Gaming System Focus of Probe Into Baby's Death

Posted October 24, 2007

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— The focus of the investigation into the death of an 11-month-old girl has shifted to a video-game system owned by the baby's mother, who is accused of killing her.

Johni Michelle Heuser, 25, of 1680 Ray Road in Spring Lake, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Harmony Jade Creech. She was being held without bond in the Harnett County Detention Center.

Harmony was reported missing Friday morning, prompting a statewide Amber Alert as local, state and federal authorities scrambled to find the child.

Authorities on Saturday found the baby's body, wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed in an empty diaper box that had been put in a corner of the attic of the home Heuser was renting. Heuser told investigators that she found the baby dead in her crib several weeks ago and hid the death out of fear.

The disappearance was reported the same day that Harmony's father, Sgt. Ronald Creech II, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, returned from a 15-month deployment in Iraq.

The state Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill has been trying to determine how and when the baby died.

As part of their investigation, authorities seized an Xbox video-game system from Heuser's home, and they were examining her playing habits in hopes of developing leads in the case.

"It can be utilized to connect with the Internet, so you can talk with other people, play games with other people, that sort of thing," Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins said.

In an e-mail to WRAL, a woman who claims to live near the family said she recognized Heuser's game character on her computer.

She said Heuser was online as late as last Thursday to participate in a role-playing game.

Investigators have been trying to interview people Heuser communicated with in online chat rooms to determine what they knew of Heuser and if they knew anything of Harmony's death before last weekend, Rollins said. He declined to say whether the amount of time Heuser spent online contributed to the baby's death, but he did note that the home showed signs of neglect.

"We're at a stage of this investigation where we really can't give a lot of details," he said, adding that more arrests were possible.

Investigators also were examining other items from the home, such as a cell phone, a computer and financial records in hopes that something will lead to the truth, Rollins said.

Heuser's three other children, all under age 5, have been placed in foster care, and a custody hearing is scheduled for Friday morning.

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  • Thornes Oct 25, 2007

    Well video games did not kill this child, the negligence from the mother did. Games are good forms of relaxation to some and addictions to others, all depends on the person.
    Seems that with there being no jobs for our youngs ones to go to , grocery stores, farms, or anything else, that a lot of parents have turned to buying these game systems as babysitters for their children. Studies show that Hand/Eye coordination improves tremendously, and others show something totally different. For you parents who let your kids run rampid on the net, beware. The parents should be more responsible for the content of their kids daily lives, Myspace, FaceBook, Chat rooms and the games their kids are playing. As adults you would think that responsibility comes first, but in this case, i would say something else did, based on the information given to us thus far. I would say that if it was intentional, sterilization would be a good start.

  • Sessy - Italiana Oct 25, 2007

    Truly a HORRIBLE story. I will keep my opinion this time to myself.

    I just dont see how the grandmother didnt notice her grandbaby gone all that time.

  • haggis basher Oct 25, 2007

    do you have children?
    Yes. I also had a brother who committed suicide and a father who suffered with depression years back so I do have some first hand experience as to the consequences. Some of the posts here are the equivalent of a medieval witch hunt. Ugly ignorance.

  • TexasKate Oct 25, 2007

    -the pipe: read that as a smoking pipe;is it actually a plumbing pipe?
    -games: i could become addicted to gaming, the interaction, the goal-oriented/level structure, being part of community. sounds like the designers hit every human hot spot
    -dunno if I would have neglected the children; probably not, mine were awfully rowdy
    -right now sounds like this is a bad girl

  • garden Oct 25, 2007

    Wow! She does remind me of Susan Smith who drowned her little boys. She was seeing someone else and wanted him for her new boy friend. He didn't want her kids so the nut cased drowned them. How sick and tragic.

  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Oct 25, 2007

    thank you, IMHO, well stated.

  • IMHO Oct 25, 2007

    "THIS IS A MONSTER". do you know her? are you a doctor that you are able to make such a statement. I think not. We will find out the facts of this case eventually but its a fact that depressed parents often kill their children and/or themselves. Its a mental illness which is usually curable. A little more education and a little "screaming" would be in order here.
    haggis basher

    No, we don't know her personally. But what we do know is that she had thousands of concerned people (law enforcement and civilians) concerned about this 11 month old baby. We do know that this false report of a kidnapped baby costs tax payers lots of money. We do know that while everyone was out praying and looking for her baby, she had her wrapped in plastic and stuffed inside a diaper box in an attic. So, no, I don't need to personally know her to know that she is a monster. Actually, she is not a monster, she is a lot worse....but what I want to say would get reported as abuse.

  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Oct 25, 2007

    haggis basher- ... do you have children?

  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Oct 25, 2007

    jeekbk04-
    I was only quoting what her family members had stated days ago in some report. If you go back to one of the repvious stories you will find that SOMEONE else used this term to describe michelle hueser. I don't give a flip what state of mind she was/is in.

  • taurus38 Oct 25, 2007

    no, the video games did not cause this, she made a choice! she may have chosen to spend alot of time on the x-box. if because of that choice, this baby died of neglect, then she chose to conceal her death! i only wish that if her choice was "gameing" over taking care of her kids, that she would have given her up for adoption to some couple that cant have kids that would love to raise a such a sweet little angel!!!!!its all about choices, and choices have consequinces(spell?).and she deserves the consequince for her choices!

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